Immigration weekly update: December 09, 2021

Global Immigration news updates for Singapore and Thailand


Singapore: Tightening of border measures and re-classification of countries

The Singapore Multi-Ministry Taskforce will be tightening the border measures amid the emergence of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant. This includes restricting entry for travelers from Botswana, Eswatini, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. All Long-Term Pass Holders and Short-Term visitors with recent travel history from the above countries / regions within the last 14 days are not allowed to enter / transit to Singapore. This restriction also applies to those who obtained prior entry approval into Singapore.

Summary of the Singapore entry requirements with all the Country/Regions Classification Category can be found here.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Immigration & Checkpoint Authority.

Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) – updated

The launch of the VTL arrangements with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are currently deferred until further notice.

The VTL is now extended to more countries as below:

  • Thailand for entry into Singapore from December 14, 2021. The VTP applications commenced on December 9, 2021.
  • Cambodia, Fiji, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Turkey for entry into Singapore from December 16, 2021. VTP applications commenced on December 9, 2021.

Summary of the VTL Countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia (Air and Land), the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States have been added to the list for entry. Effective on December 14, 2021, Thailand will be added to the list on December 16, 2021, Cambodia, Fiji, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Turkey will be added to the entry list.

Recognition of EU Digital Vaccine Certificate: Singapore now accept the European Union Digital Covid Certificate (EU DCC) issued as valid proof for travel. The requirements of this involve the vaccinations being listed under WHO EUL vaccines. With this, travelers from VTL countries with EU DCC certificates, even if the actual vaccination was not issued in a VTL country, will be able to travel to Singapore on the VTL route.

All VTL travelers will be required to take a self-administered Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART) using self-procured ART kits on Days 2, 4, 5, and 6 of their arrival in Singapore and submit their results online. The travelers are only allowed to leave their place of accommodation and continue with normal activities for the day if their ART result is negative. This is in addition to the requirement to take a supervised self-administered Covid-19 ART at a Quick Test Centre (QTC) or Combined Test Centre (CTC) on Days 3 and 7 of their arrival in Singapore.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Health.

Thailand: Eased entry restrictions

Effective from December 16, 2021, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) have approved the easing of entry rules for international arrivals (including returning Thais and foreign residents). This is under the three schemes – TEST & GO, Sandbox Programme, and Quarantine. Further details can be found here (available in Thai and English).

As of November 27, 2021, the Thai Government has imposed a total ban on the entry of all travelers from eight African countries where the new coronavirus variant known as “Omicron” has been traced. The countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Those who have already been granted permission to enter Thailand must arrive before December 15, 2021. They will be subjected to the state quarantine for 14 days (Quarantine Programme) and three Covid-19 tests (RT-PCR method). Entry via the “TEST & GO” or “Sandbox Programme” is not permitted.

To prevent and control the spread of the new “Omicron” Covid-19 variant, the Thai Government has decided to maintain the RT-PCR Covid-19 testing for international arrivals under the Exemption from Quarantine (TEST & GO) entry scheme and cancel the plan to change to an ATK method earlier approved by the CCSA. This means the current one-night waiting period in a SHA+ / AQ hotel and a confirmed payment (for a one-night stay at a SHA+/AQ hotel, 1 RT-PCR test, and prearranged airport transfer) will continue to be required until further notice.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Bangkok Post.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Jane BeynonRegional Immigration Manager (APAC).


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